Work Proceeds for Fireworks Despite Detroit Mayor's Threat

DETROIT (AP) -- Organizers of the annual International Freedom Festival fireworks have been proceeding with plans for the event despite Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's statement that he would cancel it if the City Council overrode his veto of the municipal budget.

Despite the mayor's threat, the Parade Company, which organizes the event scheduled for June 29, is moving forward.

''A lot of work and a lot of people worked on the fireworks and they've looked forward to it for last 47 years,'' company chairwoman Debbie Dingell told the Detroit Free Press.

Members of the council, which earlier rejected Kilpatrick's proposal to eliminate a projected $300 million deficit in the city's $1.4-billion budget, were expected to vote Monday on whether to override the veto. The mayor needed three members of the nine-member council to vote against a veto override for his budget to survive.

Kilpatrick said Friday that his decision was based on concerns about security at the fireworks, which draws tens of thousands of people to downtown Detroit and to neighboring Windsor, Ontario.

Kilpatrick on Thursday vetoed the council's proposed budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year, saying it would jeopardize public safety by cutting additional police and firefighters.

Mayoral spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett said Kilpatrick's threat was real. But she said the administration has not discussed what would need to be done to cancel the event.

Information from: Detroit Free Press